Wildlife enthusiasts will be amazed with all that Sri Lanka has to offer; the abundance of animal and bird species, many of which are endemic, in the confines of nature reserves and sanctuaries are a real treat for everyone. Tourists will be able to experience seeing a wide range of animals and birdlife in breathtaking natural settings.
There are several excellent national parks in the country including Yala, Udawalawe and Minneriya, where one can enjoy the ultimate wildlife expedition through jeep safaris with trained guides. Yala is the most visited national park in Sri Lanka and offers a terrific opportunity to spot elephants, spotted deer, wild buffalo, sloth bears, leopards, wild boar and over one hundred species of birdlife! In addition, visitors here can stay overnight in bungalows available and fall asleep to the sound of nature.
Another must visit wildlife destination is Udawalawe, a reserve with dry evergreen forests situated in Hambotota, which is home to one of Asia's largest elephant populations as well as other mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Minneriya National Park, situated in the north central part of the island, is best known for its annual gathering of elephants. This awesome and exciting spectacle that takes place during the months of August to October is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
Horton Plains National Park is the only park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to walk about freely, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. Located in the Central Highlands, it is rich in biodiversity with large herds of Sambar Deer and over 20 endemic bird species. The highlight here is a sheer precipe - World's End, which has a 870m drop offering marvelous views.
There are several conservation projects throughout the country to help protect the environment and wildlife. One of Sri Lanka's pinnacle conservation projects is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage - which has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. Visitors here can feed the elephants, watch them being bathed, learn about the different aspects of care and contribute to their well being.